Yalumba The Caley Cabernet & Shiraz 2015
98 points James Halliday
96 points Robert Parker
The Caley is the pinnacle of a long winemaking journey of excellence, that rightfully honours one of Yalumba’s most adventurous sons. A blend of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and Barossa Shiraz, The Caley is a classic marriage of two noble varieties and two great Australian wine regions.
Terroir and site:
The Caley has been sourced from three outstanding vineyards of the Coonawarra and Barossa regions. The Ming D block of the Yalumba Coonawarra vineyard provides 52% of the Cabernet Sauvignon of the blend. This 2.7ha plot was planted in 1992 with two clones of Cabernet Sauvignon selected for structure and depth of flavour. This block differs from the ubiquitous Coonawarra terroir, with a higher content of clay than the other blocks on The Menzies Estate. The Shiraz is sourced from the Burgemeister “Linke Block” between Nuriootpa and Angaston. Planted in 1901, these Shiraz vines run east-west and are on a single wire trellis. The soil is a red brown earth in the Light Pass loamy fine sand family. There is also a component that comes from the 1971 Yalumba Horseshoe Block in Eden Valley.
Winemaking and viticulture:
The Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz parcels were fermented separately in open fermenters. Indigenous or ‘wild’ yeasts, naturally present on the grape skins, initiated the fermentation to contribute complexity, richness and fine texture. Cultured winery yeasts were then added to complete fermentation. Gentle plunging and pulsing of the skins was undertaken to achieve the right balance of colour, tannin and phenolic extraction. The Caley was matured for 22 months in a mix of 31% new French barriques and hogsheads, 22% one-year old French barriques and the balance in older French barriques and hogsheads. The barrels were all made and seasoned at the Yalumba Cooperage. After bottling, the wine was cellared for a further 36 months and released in 2017.
At the time of blending, the winemaking team made the following tasting notes ... Deep garnet red in colour, fruit is at the core of the bouquet, all red and black currants – overlaid with savoury herbs, green spices, cedar and pipe tobacco. The palate is of sophisticated precision with a refined line. Long and textured it captures the concentrated flavours and presents them with a silken grace. Under all that supple, fleshy muscle, the wine has a strong spine, structured to last and last. Savour with slow roasted rack of veal, rubbed with sea salt, rosemary and garlic, served with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and steamed green vegetables or chargrilled brussel sprouts with lotus root and sweet marinated tofu.
Cellaring: A wine for the future, which will not reach its peak until 2027.
Winemaker: Kevin Glastonbury